Topic

Social Talk

Tags

Sorry there are no tags yet

Author
Cinnamon Carter

Kindness of Presidents

random-acts-of-kindness

Abraham Lincoln set the standard. He was the exemplar of balance between strength and compassion.  Rarely did he fail to apply moral justice when it was within his power.  


“I shall do nothing in malice” he wrote in 1862.  “What I deal with is too vast for malicious dealing.”  When the Civil War was over, Lincoln did not send a message of triumph or vindictiveness.  His was a message of compassion.  “With malice toward none, with charity toward all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind the nation’s wounds.”


Harry Truman followed the lead of Lincoln when World War II ended.  He championed the Marshall Plan that supported the massive rebuilding of Central and Western Europe with $17 billion of American aid to revitalize economies and stabilize governments, all leading to a healthier climate abroad that would eventually benefit the US.


Lyndon B. Johnson launched a “war on poverty,” created Medicaid and Head Start, and passed sweeping civil rights laws.  Supporting civil rights was at his own political peril.  “If that is the cost for this bill, I will gladly pay it” he stated before he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


In 1974, Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal.  He believed the pardon would heal the wounds of Watergate so America could move on to addressing the economy and the last pangs of the Vietnam War.  Even though Ford was not re-elected due to his actions, he lived to see history mark the compassion and selflessness of his act.


George H.W. Bush called for “a kinder, gentler nation.  America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle.”  He urged Americans to get involved in their communities as “a thousand points of light” and recognized almost every day of his presidency one of those volunteers (points of light). 


George W. Bush was inspired by the biblical phrase “To whom much is given, much is required.”  He committed an initial $15 billion to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS victims in Africa, the largest healthcare initiative ever launched by a single nation.


People talk about karma, about “reaping the seeds we sow,” and paying it forward.  And then there’s the phrase “What goes around, comes around.”  The present climate in America, as well as globally, seems to be straining against the need for compassion, kindness, and selflessness.  Instead of working cooperatively, we are divided, and actions seem to bring forth the saying “Every man (or country) for himself (themselves).”  



“All a good president tries to do is accomplish things for the good of the people.” April 3, 1988, Harry S. Truman


Truman’s rankings of his predecessors:

THE BEST                                   THE WORST

George Washington                     Zachary Taylor

Thomas Jefferson                       Franklin Pierce

Andrew Jackson                        James Buchanan

James K. Polk                             Ulysses S. Grant

Abraham Lincoln                       Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland                      Warren G. Harding

Woodrow Wilson                         Calvin Coolidge

Franklin D. Roosevelt             Dwight D. Eisenhower

  

It is far too early to predict how history will remember this period in America.  Let’s hope there will be some kindness or gesture that can be remembered.  


“At times like these, when the future seems unsettled and uncertain, it can be easy to lose heart.  When you turn on the television or read newspapers or blogs, the voices of cynicism and pessimism always seem to be the loudest.  Don’t believe them.” Barack Obama, 2010


Truer now, than when he spoke those words.


What do you think? 


(Source: Star-Ledger, Parade Magazine, historian Mark K. Updegrove)

Author
Cinnamon Carter



Things That May Interest You

Similar Stories
Social Talk

Submitting DNA

Just like Cambridge Analytica rocked Facebook, submitting your DNA to one of those genealogy sites is a threat to your privacy.
Forensic...

Social Talk

Recycling: Myth or helping the planet?


Recycling: Myth or helping the planet?  Truth or Dare (not to protect the earth)?
#1: Recycling uses more energy than making something...

Social Talk

5 Habits of the Fountain of Youth

5 Habits to the Fountain of Youth?  Well, not exactly.
The five healthy lifestyle factors identified in a new study published in the...

Social Talk

Why Baby Boomers are hitting the Bottle – and I don’t mean feeding their grandchildren

Those of us at a certain age, traditionally assume that teenagers and college-age people are the demographic groups that drink the...

Social Talk

How New Technology Tricks You into Forgetting Things – Losing my mind or losing my cellphone?

There was a time, long, long ago, in an era that is now far, far away, it was impossible to lose your phone.  Why, you say?  Because the...

Social Talk

Beware: Nothing in life is free

Those of us not born into the age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – you get the idea, have long known nothing in life is free and if...

Social Talk

The World is Still Populated and Run by Humans

So shouldn’t people in every city considering autonomous cars be asked if they want to allow them and if so, in what function?

Social Talk

Technology: To help and protect us or a brain drain?

We design technology to assist us, provide warnings for us, prevent us from getting hurt, to provide checks and balances, and even take...

Social Talk

Have you developed internet anxiety?

You are probably thinking this is about being anxious about using the internet.  Guess what, it is not (or is it?).  This is about the...

Social Talk

Is constant & continual progress necessary? When is it time to stop?

It seems that there is no final frontier.  Human kind has investigated and continues to investigate the earth, the planets, the oceans,...

Things That May Interest You